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It’s a 7th consecutive month of double-digit gains for the Thai new light vehicle market now definitely on the mend, with March sales up 12.1% to 95.082 units. This is the third highest monthly volume in 5 years below December 2017 (104.302) and December 2015 (101.426). The year-to-date tally is now up 12.6% to 237.093, and if the upwards trend continues at a slightly higher pace throughout the year (+14.7%), new car sales in Thailand could return above 1 million annual units this year for the first time since 2013.
Whereas they were both underperforming last month, brand leaders Toyota (+21%) and Isuzu (+16%) both outpace the market in March to hit 28.1% and 19.8% share respectively vs. 27% and 18.7% so far in 2018. In contrast, Honda plunges 19% to 10.7% in third place. Elsewhere in the Top 10, Mazda (+33%), Ford (+23%) and Mitsubishi (+16%) all beat the market but the best performer is again Chinese and new local producer MG shooting up 118% on March 2017 to smash its monthly volume record to 2.373, its first time above 2.000 (previous best: 1.928 last December) and equal its record share hit last month at 2.5% (in fact a new record at 2.496% vs. 2.483% in February).
Model-wise, the Isuzu D-Max scores its 12th win in the past 13 months thanks to deliveries up 19% to just under 16.000 and 16.8% share, one full percentage point above its YTD level. The Toyota Hilux (+15%) is flatly beaten and lies over 4.000 sales below this month and almost 9.000 YTD. The Ford Ranger (+27%) remains at its traditional third spot while the Mazda2 soars 53% to #4, by far the best-selling passenger car in the country above the Toyota Yaris (#6) and Yaris Ativ (#7). The Mitsubishi Triton also outpaces the market at +23% in 5th place. But the big event of the month is occurring just outside the Top 10, at #12 exactly where the Toyota C-HR lands directly with just under 2.200 sales and 2.3% share, instantly taking the lead of the small crossover segment above the MG ZS beating its volume record at 1.350 and the Honda HR-V down 40% to 1.035. It’s the first outing of the C-HR in South-East Asia and chances are it will climb a lot higher in the coming months.
Previous month: Thailand February 2018: Isuzu D-Max leads, MG hits record share
Full March 2018 Top 30 All-brands and Top 70 models below.